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Portables (Games) Handhelds Hardware

Nintendo DS to Launch November 21 347

Posted by Zonk
from the dual-screens-means-more-shines dept.
mcc writes "PlanetGamecube is reporting the upcoming Nintendo DS handheld has been given a launch date of November 21st and a price of $150 ! It is also being reported that the Nintendo DS will ship with PictoChat (a sort of chat/whiteboard software) and some form of the Metroid Prime Hunters multiplayer FPS bundled in. A fact sheet is also available."
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Nintendo DS to Launch November 21

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  • Anyone seen any reliable battery life figures for one of these?
    • by Gr33nNight (679837) on Tuesday September 21, 2004 @12:18PM (#10309297)
      Yeah, they said 6-10 hours. Takes an hour longer to charge than the GBA, but still kicks ass.
    • The battery life is estimated to be about 10 hours. (I looked on a few forums and they were consistently saying 10.) My GBA SP has exceeded my expectations in terms of holding a charge, so I hope that the DS will do the same.
  • Le *sigh* (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Control Group (105494) * on Tuesday September 21, 2004 @12:13PM (#10309216) Homepage
    Dammit, where was this stuff when I was a kid? All I had for hand-held gaming was "Castlevania," which had a monochrome LCD screen that could display Our Hero in three different positions, four different enemies in two positions each, and a series of flagstones for me to "walk" on.

    Nowadays, these things are fantastically cool, and I love them, but man, do I not need another video game platform. Now I drive myself places. My only video game time is at home, where I've got a 65" TV, a PC, and six different consoles. I want a GBA, I'm sure I'll want the DS, but I know I'd never play them.

    It's really kind of depressing.

    • by Achoi77 (669484) on Tuesday September 21, 2004 @12:26PM (#10309406)
      Speak for yourself. :-)

      I'm getting one

      The kids will get one too

      Here's to wireless multiplayer gaming with your kids. And you call yourself a geek?? For shame!! Where are your roots?

      • Re:Le *sigh* (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Control Group (105494) * on Tuesday September 21, 2004 @12:37PM (#10309582) Homepage
        I suppose if I had kids, it might be different. That sounds like a good time...as it stands, though, I already have more unfinished video games than I can shake a stick at (Metroid: Prime, XIII, Hitman 2, Mario Sunshine, Tron 2.0, Ikaruga...probably more that I'm forgetting). I wouldn't have finished Wind Waker if I hadn't had three friends over for a weekend to race.

        Not to mention Doom III and HL2 (if it ever comes out).

        I never knew in college how good I had it, with time to finish games as they came out, instead of continually falling further and further behind...

        ...you're probably right. Where's the registrar? I need to turn in my geek card. ;)

        • Re:Le *sigh* (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Jerf (17166)
          There are upsides, too.

          Two weeks ago I bought FFX-2 from Target for 16.88. I just bought the PC version of Knights of the Old Republic, the only game that makes me want an X-BOX, for 19.99, also at Target, even though I actually don't have a machine for it yet. (Hopefully soon.)

          Being behind the curve isn't all bad. Let others sort out the dross and grab only the good stuff at bargain bin, or in this case, "clearance because the stupid gaming industry releases everything for Christmas", prices.

          (On that no
    • You must be young. My first handheld was actually a tabletop game - Pac Man, and then later on, I got Zaxxon. All led driven stuff...
      • *blush*

        I am young, but I did have a couple LED-driven tabletop (is that the word? Mini-cabinets?) games. I forget what they were called...joystick on the left, one button on the right...one was a top-down shooter. Little space ship, shooting little lasers at oncoming little space ships...ah, those were the days. I forgot how much I loved those games.

        I didn't count them as "handhelds," though, since they had wall warts. Or something like four C cells, IIRC.

    • I remember they ran on like 2 AA batters, and only had about 10 levels per game. Those were the good old days. Forget all of that back lighting crap and swappable game cartridges. If you wanted to play a different game, fine..but you had to go buy a completely different handheld that only stored 1 game on it. There were no saves, you either beat the game or you start over.

      I had sooooo many of those things, ninja gaiden 1 and 2, teenage mutant ninja turtles 1, 2 and 3, baseball, football, some sort of r
    • Now I drive myself places.

      You never fly? Flying is when I use my GBA the most. God, it's wonderful for passing time in airports. They even market it to people in airports, so I imagine I'm not the only one...
      • Actually, I don't. I don't really take trips of any kind (every time I've got the money to spend on travelling somewhere, I convince myself it would be better spent on PC hardware. This is a very similar reason to why I don't have a laptop).

        If I did more travelling, I might have a use for it. But as it stands, I haven't been anywhere I haven't driven to in...oh, my...ten years?

    • It's really kind of depressing.

      About as depressing as walking into Consumer Electronics 'R' Us and realizing you already have one of everything they sell. (DVD player? check. Desktop computer? Check. Laptop? Check. Mp3 player? check. Gonzo huge T.V. check. Stereo with dozen speakers? check. Game console? check.)

      It's so bad I actually spend time shopping in the APPLIANCES section! (Marg blender? Check. Rug Shampooer? check. CPU controlled toaster? check. Programmable dishwasher? check.)

      {sob}

    • Now I drive myself places. My only video game time is at home, where I've got a 65" TV...

      There's your problem... you lost much of your free time to commuting to work and watching Cable/Satellite/DVDs.

      As for me, I have yet to buy a portable GameBoy, but with my 1 1/2 hour daily commute via passenger train, I may have the perfect excuse. (And business travellers who are frequent fliers also have the "free time" for portable systems.)

    • Re:Le *sigh* (Score:5, Insightful)

      by nazsco (695026) on Tuesday September 21, 2004 @01:22PM (#10310188) Journal
      child: disposition, time, no money
      adult: disposition, money, no time
      senile: time, money, no disposition

      so, it only get worse. enjoy.
  • by 192939495969798999 (58312) <info@devinmoo r e . c om> on Tuesday September 21, 2004 @12:13PM (#10309221) Homepage Journal
    If it supports a chat/whiteboard/etc. type app, will it eventually have a cellphone cartridge? That would be just sweet! MMORPG's with a phone, that's really a gameboy... much better than the ol' green screen tetris.
    • There were rumors to that effect [slashdot.org], sort of.
    • I suspect that we will see a NDS MMORPG of some sort next year, around xmas time. However, I suspect it will be something a little different, and will use the 802.11 connectivity only, and not any sort of cell phone connection.

      Also, I suspect that there will be some sort of system where you can 'instance' zones and play them solo while offline, or in groups of up to 8-16 players who are on an ad-hoc local wireless network of DS's.

      When you connect to the 'real' servers you will be able to engage in trading,

  • by YetAnotherName (168064) on Tuesday September 21, 2004 @12:14PM (#10309235) Homepage
    And one screen is touch-sensitive; that could certainly lead to some novel applications--er, I meant games, of course ... :-)

    I wonder if you can run Linux on it? It sports an ARM9 and an ARM7 ... built-in WiFi ... tempting ...
  • Damnit.... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by JoeLinux (20366) <joelinux@nOsPAM.gmail.com> on Tuesday September 21, 2004 @12:14PM (#10309250) Homepage
    Now I have to re-buy it. Curse them for improving it!

    Who here wants to make a betting pool for how long until linux is hacked onto it?
  • by Zangief (461457) on Tuesday September 21, 2004 @12:16PM (#10309268) Homepage Journal
    The price is the right one, and the bunmdle is perfect!

    Nintendo has played his cards very well this time.
  • by Enigma_Man (756516) on Tuesday September 21, 2004 @12:19PM (#10309306) Homepage
    That are from 30 to 100 feet away! Save the energy of actually looking at people, or raising your voice slightly.

    Is there some aspect of the chat feature that I'm missing or not understanding? If you're playing a game with someone within 100 feet maximum, shouldn't you be able to see and/or holler (holla for all you kids) at them?

    -Jesse
    • by slashrogue (775436) on Tuesday September 21, 2004 @12:23PM (#10309356)
      Not if you're in class and trying to stay out of trouble. ;)
    • by Gr33nNight (679837) on Tuesday September 21, 2004 @12:24PM (#10309373)
      I think they mean, you have to be 30-100 feet to a WAP. At least that would make more sense. The protocol is based on 802.11, and Nintendo did mention that the DS would be compatable with Wireless Access Points.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Truly useful for the truly lazy. For example, I used to have to get out of bed and walk into the next room to play nintendo with my apartment-mates. Such pains will inconvenience me no longer!
    • If you're playing a game with someone within 100 feet maximum, shouldn't you be able to see and/or holler (holla for all you kids) at them?

      What if the parents are trying to watch the TV in the same room? In a long plane / car ride? Several college students in a lecture hall? The deaf get to play these games cooperatively too!

      There are many instances when short distance text chat would be useful to me. Being in noisy or quiet situations are an example. Your comment seems to imply that every DS gather

      • Yeah I can see a lot of instances where this would be appropriate. Say, an office of cubicles over lunch break, a school bus full of students who are going on a field trip... and the point another poster made that being within range of an access point means that the distance is irrelevant.

        i like it.

    • Probably for cheating in class...
  • A cool idea (Score:4, Interesting)

    by iamdrscience (541136) <michaelmtripp@gmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Tuesday September 21, 2004 @12:20PM (#10309321) Homepage
    I think nintendo should make a cartridge with emulations of a couple of those old multi screen game 'n' watch games they had. If you don't know what I'm talking about, here's an example [gameandwatch.com]. You can see others on Gameandwatch.com [gameandwatch.com], just click on "multiscreen" on the menu.

    Hell, if they don't do it, I might just have to waste my time programming it myself once somebody gets together a free dev-kit for the DS.
  • $150 US!

    Yea, I'm definitly buying one. I guess my nephew will enjoy the GBA he will be getting from me.

    This looks like a home run on Nintindo's part.

  • One more link (Score:5, Informative)

    by mcc (14761) <amcclure@purdue.edu> on Tuesday September 21, 2004 @12:26PM (#10309413) Homepage
    Here's a page with some pictures of the DS, [etoychest.org] if you haven't seen it.
  • wow, nice timing, and for what it can do, nice price I think. This should be a winner, regardless, but with the new games and screen config, it really 'raises the bar' as those marketing types like to say. since GB has pretty much taken all of the handheld console market, DS will only build on that I suspect. when will they add a built in cell phone to it? That's when I'll be ponying up for one for sure!

    CB*($#
  • by ShadowFlair (690961) on Tuesday September 21, 2004 @12:30PM (#10309481) Homepage Journal
    My largest rant about games nowadays is that companies seem to spend so much time/money on graphics the contents is, well, lacking. This seems to be slowly changing of late. But, heh, I always get suckered into buying Nintendo stuff because I am a huge fan of the few genres that they have come up with. Zelda and Metroid, even with good graphics, still maintain good game content, and I still buy one after another.
  • by AmishMoshr (774633) on Tuesday September 21, 2004 @12:38PM (#10309600)
    It seems rather odd to me that something by Nintendo would be released in the US first. Is this normal for their handheld systems?
    • You apparently didn't RTFA. This is the first time that Nintendo will be releasing a system in the US first. Japan's DS will be released a few days later, and Europe and Australia will see it in 2005.
    • I'm sure it has everything to do with Thanksgiving. It makes more sense for Nintendo to ship the first batch to NA in order to make Black Friday, and ship the second batch to Japan, than it would the other way around. Travel time would be a big factor too; unless they fly everything, it's ~2 weeks by ship to NA, but only days to Japan, so a NA release second could have been almost 2 weeks after the current Japan release date.
    • by securitas (411694) on Tuesday September 21, 2004 @08:17PM (#10314645) Homepage Journal


      The following business reasons might explain why they are releasing the Nintedo DS in North America first:

      2004-09-21 09:42:51 Nintendo DS to Launch in N. America Nov. 21 @ $150 (Index,Games) (rejected)

      John Markoff at the New York Times [nytimes.com] (mirror at CNet [com.com]) reports that the Nintendo DS [geartest.com] handheld game system will launch in North America on Nov. 21 with a retail price of almost $150. Apparently Nintendo hopes to avoid a direct sales confrontation with the Sony PSP [geartest.com], which will launch in Japan later this year. However, Walmart [walmart.com] still lists availability of the Nintendo DS Platinum on Nov. 30 for $199.82. The retailer was probably caught unaware since Nintendo published its press release [businesswire.com] on BusinessWire at 1:30 AM Eastern Time.

      Apologies for the cross-post but it seems relevant here.

  • i haven't noticed any mention of the DS being launched with different colors besides the platinum we've seen in all the demos. Has anyone seen details on what different colors, if any, Nintendo will launch with? A choice in color has been a popular feature of nintendo's handhelds since the Gameboy color, so I'd be surprised to see it missing from this system. The color choice must be a consideration when preordering, right? i'd hate to preorder, expecting a nice Platinum DS and find when I get there tha
    • to answer my own question, according to this bbc article [bbc.co.uk] it will be launched in Silver and Black.
    • A choice in color has been a popular feature of nintendo's handhelds since the Gameboy color

      Actually, it's since the "Play it Loud" series of gameboys to begin shipping in different colors. Those were the original monochrome gameboys (well, gameboy pocket, the skinnier version) in a number of colors.

  • They did it right (Score:2, Insightful)

    by wobedraggled (549225)
    Nintendo knows the handheld market, and they pulled this off perfectly.

    $149 for the DS is sweet, condiering it has chat ablilities and a game demp packed in.

    Pictochat actually has some little fun games built in as well

    PSP what?!?!

  • Will the US DS play my PAL DS games? This is perfect for Christmas (for me) but other wise it may pass by (my birthday is Jan 31st is other option).

    I can't live without my GBA but I don't want to buy the Gameboy V3.0 (which seems to be the selling point to most people) more then once or have to import everything to the sunshine island of England.
    • by tuffy (10202)
      Will the US DS play my PAL DS games? This is perfect for Christmas (for me) but other wise it may pass by (my birthday is Jan 31st is other option).

      No Nintendo portable has ever had region lockouts. Though there's been no official word yet (that I'm aware of), I'd bet that the DS has none either.

  • by BTWR (540147) <americangibor3@@@yahoo...com> on Tuesday September 21, 2004 @12:54PM (#10309809) Homepage Journal
    The PlanetGamecube site is being Slashdotted, so here are the specs:

    Launch Date and MSRP: Nov. 21, 2004, in North America ($149.99), Dec. 2, 2004, in Japan (15,000 yen), Q1 2005 in Europe and Australia

    Size (when closed): 148.7 millimeters (5.85 inches) wide, 84.7 millimeters (3.33 inches) long, 28.9 millimeters (1.13 inches) tall

    Top Screen: A backlit, 3-inch, semitransparent reflective TFT color LCD with 256 x 192 pixel resolution and .24 mm dot pitch, capable of displaying 260,000 colors

    Touch Screen: Same specs as top screen, but with a transparent analog touch screen

    Wireless Communication: IEEE 802.11 and Nintendo's proprietary format; wireless range is 30 to 100 feet, depending on circumstances; multiple users can play multiplayer games using just one DS Game Card

    Controls: Touch screen, embedded microphone for voice recognition, A/B/X/Y face buttons, plus control pad, L/R shoulder buttons, Start and Select buttons

    Input/Output: Ports for both Nintendo DS Game Cards and Game Boy® Advance Game Paks, terminals for stereo headphones and microphone

    Other features: Embedded PictoChat software that allows up to 16 users to chat at once, embedded real-time clock, date, time and alarm, touch-screen calibration

    CPUs: One ARM9 and one ARM7

    Sound: Stereo speakers providing virtual surround sound, depending on the software

    Battery: Lithium ion battery delivering six to 10 hours of play on a four-hour charge, depending on use; power-saving sleep mode; AC adapter

    Languages: English, Japanese, Spanish, French, German, Italian

    Color: Silver and black

  • by mconeone (765767) on Tuesday September 21, 2004 @12:56PM (#10309849)
    The ds is a cool concept, but the handheld market really caters to kids. The gameboy advance, with a cheap price and cheap games will still be more popluar among kids because they are half the price. For christmas, console systems are the same price as the ds, and many kids(read: parents) will choose the $99 gamecube (with metroid prime, the FULL game), or $150 ps2/xbox over the ds. If your kid drops the ds, you're out $150. I hope this thing comes with a parent's guide because: -it has a touch lcd screen which kids seem to love to hammer on. -kids tend to want to use a regular writing device on a touch pad, like a pen or crayon. So its wireless. Can you not use them on planes? Now, if you can hack them, the possibilities are endless.
    • Solid Logic, but here in New York City, you'd be SHOCKED at how many 10 year-olds are walking around with $300+ ipods...
    • Sure, the handheld market caters to kids. That's why the GBA-SP sells at a rate of about 2 units every minute.

      Parents balking at $50 extra? You underestimate the number of upper-middle- and upper-class households. Remember, if you can convince 1% of everyone to buy your product, that's over 60,000,000 people worldwide.
  • Is this device a successor to the GBA SP? I like the form factor (and price) of the SP a lot more (in fact I'm buying one very shortly).
  • by Randar the Lava Liza (562063) on Tuesday September 21, 2004 @01:33PM (#10310319) Homepage
    From Gamespot [gamespot.com]:
    Nintendo revealed a few more miscellaneous details--the system will only launch in the silver/black color shown in currently available pictures, although more colors will probably be added later; battery life is 6-10 hours depending on application;
    and Game Boy/GB Color games will not be backwards compatible with the DS, although all Game Boy Advance games will work with the system in single-player mode.
    • Easy to explain (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Plutor (2994) on Tuesday September 21, 2004 @02:59PM (#10311384) Homepage
      This is very easy to explain. The Game Boy and Game Boy Color used an ~4MHz 8-bit CPU similar to the Zilog Z80 (which was itself based on the Intel 8080). The Game Boy Advance uses a ~33MHz 32-bit ARM7 CPU. In order to make Game Boy backwards compatibility as fast, simple, and (yes) cheap as possible, it's got a second processor: a Z80. They can't be used at the same time, because they're for different architectures for different cartridges.

      Since the DS uses a ~67MHz 32-bit ARM9, they either had to 1) have three processors in the thing, 2) abandon the legacy games, or 3) write emulation software into the console. $150 is already fairly expensive for a Nintendo device, portable or not, so they chose option 2. Accordint to the Wikipedia article, there are emulation projects for the ARM9 underway.

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